Bob Wilkinson – Site Historian
After leaving school and spending five years training as a toolmaker, Bob joined the London Fire Brigade in July of 1981. After training school he was posted to Tottenham, one of the busiest stations in the London Fire Brigade. He spent seven years there, before transferring to the much quieter Barnet Fire Station in order to become a Fire Appliance Driver. Later he took a temporary position at the Area Headquarters at Paddington.
Unfortunately whilst on duty at Paddington, Bob was involved in a serious road accident in which a young woman died. Three years after the accident Bob took early retirement after being diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), something Bob still suffers from today. More details on PTSD can be found by reading Bob’s article here.
After visiting the National Firefighters Memorial next to St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Bob became interested in the history of the UK’s fire brigades. Just reading the names on the memorial meant nothing to him, they didn’t tell the tragic and/or heroic stories of how these firefighters lost their lives doing the job that Bob still loves. He has now traced the background and personal details of most of the firefighters, along with others which sadly have not been listed on the memorial.
While researching these tragic tales Bob realised just how little information was readily available, even about well known incidents. When he discovered details of an incident in old magazines, newspaper articles or on the internet he wrote up the history and posted it on the forums.
The history section of the forum has now become very popular and continues to grow the more Bob researches.
Bob became a member of the forum in 2004 and a few years later was invited to join the team of moderators. He is now the site’s fire brigade historian and is pleased to get contributions and help from any other members or visitors of the site.
Bob now has a vast library of fire brigade magazines and books, all of which are invaluable in his research. As far as Bob is concerned whether an incident occurred yesterday or hundreds of years ago it is part of fire brigade history.